It's a year to celebrate putting people first.
And that's what cooperatively owned businesses, like not-for-profit credit unions, are all about: putting people at the heart of all their business.
Recognizing the important role of co-ops, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2012 as the "International Year of Cooperatives."
With some 30,000 co-ops in the United States alone - including Dupaco - the unique type of business is vital to economic development in countries around the world, according to the International Co-operative Alliance.
"Cooperatives, such as credit unions, are owned and democratically controlled by their members," says David Klavitter, Dupaco's senior vice president of marketing and public relations.
"A cooperative's entire purpose is to provide products and services to its members -- not to maximize profit. That means cooperatives make decisions which are in the best interest of their members, and thus, the community."
How does it work? At Dupaco, members also are the owners of the financial cooperative, so they share in the success of the credit union. When Dupaco has surplus earnings, for instance, the credit union returns them to its owners through:
o Lower loan rates
o Higher dividends
o Enhanced access, such as more branches, ATMs and electronic services
o New low- or no-fee programs and products
Click here to find out how you can help celebrate the "International Year of Cooperatives."
By Emily Kittle